Homemade Bath Shapes

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Here’s a fun variation on foam sheers in the tub that Veronika has enjoyed lately at bath time.

This time, I used cookie cutters to trace shapes that are becoming identifiable to her, including stars, moons, basic shapes like circles, and a few fun ones like bells.

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I cut them out and then lined them up on the bathtub walls so she could see how they stuck right to the tub. She loved taking them off and on again.

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The star was a fast favorite. With no prompting, she held it up high every time I sang the “up above the world so high” line of Twinkle, Twinkle!

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The moon likewise received big smiles when I recited a favorite poem about the moon.

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This was a great way to combine tub fun with object recognition as your toddler begins adding more and more words to his or her vocabulary.

After School Routine Clock

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Travis has struggled lately at clean-up time, requesting more and more time to play. We made this cute clock in hopes of keeping things on track in the future! It helped him to visualize how much time was left for current favorite activities, like action figure play and coloring, and helped cut down on protests.

To start, we printed out two sheets of a template from Kiwi Co. Color in with crayon or marker, making sure to use colors that match any dry erase markers you have at home. That limited us to blue, red, and green, but you can use many colors if you have a full rainbow of dry erase. On each rectangle, write in a part of your child’s evening routine with dark marker.

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For each slot of time, we colored a corresponding triangle on a white wall clock that I purchased from Amazon. Travis loved being allowed to color directly on the clock!

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I outlined his triangles in black for a clearer visual, and then mounted the clock on the wall next to the Kiwi templates.

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What a great way for him to see how the evening is divvied up! I also love that this project can be adapted as his schedule changes in the future, especially once homework is part of the equation.

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Kitchen Boxes

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Toddlers love to be your helpers, which can be adorable, but which also sometimes places them squarely under foot and in the way… like when you’re cooking in the kitchen! Encourage their eager need to be involved by setting up a play kitchen right alongside yours.

There’s no need to buy a fancy store-bought kitchen; chances are you have everything you need right at home for this game.

I saved up empty snack boxes over the course of a week and taped them shut to be Veronika’s pantry staples and “groceries”. (Note: The youngest toddlers might be happy just with these boxes and nothing else! They make great towers).

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Then I set up two toddler chairs side by side as her kitchen counter. Use empty large boxes if you don’t have chairs that are the right height. Her kitchen was soon outfitted with brightly colored measuring cups, a set of measuring spoons we use just for play, and other accessories like whisks and rolling pins.

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Soon she was very busy “cooking”!

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Veronika was in luck today because I finished up a bottle of vegetable oil making my recipe. This was quickly added to her kitchen. Build up a similar stock for your little one over time, adding old aprons, dish cloths, empty bottles, spare utensils, and more.

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As I filled muffin tins with real batter, I gave her an old cake pan to “bake” her recipe in.

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She was so busy and happy by my side playing this game, and never in the way!

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Spicy Pumpkin Muffins

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This recipe makes generously sized muffins, perfect for hungry kids after school or for a great boost in the morning. The addition of molasses means extra B vitamins. Use nutmeg in place of the cloves, if desired, and increase the applesauce to as much as 3/4 cup if the batter seems too thick.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cloves; set aside.
  2. In a second bowl, whisk together the applesauce and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon baking powder.
  3. Stir in the canola oil, molasses, agave, vanilla, and pumpkin.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, then divide evenly among the cups of a muffin pan coated with cooking spray.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 27 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

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